DETROIT -- Eager to improve consumers' opinions after 39 days in federal bankruptcy protection, General Motors Co. will launch a national advertising campaign in mid-September for each of its brands.
"We want to dramatically improve consideration," said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of U.S. sales. The ads feature product attributes. For example, Chevrolet will boast that the Equinox crossover gets 32 mpg on the highway, LaNeve said.
Over the next year, GM will increase its spending on advertising significantly, he said. LaNeve declined to give exact budgets but said certain vehicles will get more money.
The Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Equinox, the Buick LaCrosse sedan and the GMC Terrain crossover will get high advertising budgets, he said. Cadillac's 2010 SRX crossover will get "an incredibly high spend," LaNeve said.
In late July, a consumer survey by Dohring & Co. found that 27 percent of the 1,200 people polled said GM's experience in U.S. Bankruptcy Court made it less likely that they'll buy a Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC or Buick.
"We feel like we can't wait" for the normal length of time it takes to "improve opinion and consideration," LaNeve said.
Meanwhile, he said, GM has established a team to devise methods to hold onto about 3 million customers who owned or now own a GM vehicle but whose dealership is closing or whose brand, such as Saturn, will be shed.